I’m a father, and a guy. So what do I know about being a woman? Not as much as my wife, I can assure you, but enough to help my daughters understand what God says about being a woman.
1- Grow up!
Not into perfection, but continual maturity. Perfection goofs up and then hides it. Maturity goofs up and admits and grows from it. Create an atmosphere of forgiveness and acceptance. Don’t expect them to keep a moral compass if you keep yours on the shelf. Dad and daughter have to be growing together. No one has arrived, but we are continuing to arrive. She’s learning to be a woman, and I’m learning how to guide her as I am still learning aspects of being a man.
2- Young lady, you are more than a rib!
Who can escape the embedded and biblically wrong understanding of the “rib” in the creation story. It’s a cultural suggestion that women are less than men, and find their identity in a man. WRONG, a thousand times wrong! This Hebrew word is only used as “rib” in the creation story and once in Daniel 2:10. It most often means “side”, and by most often, I mean in Genesis too. There are two covenantal elements you don’t want to miss. Adam was put to sleep, like Abraham in Genesis 15, and a “side” of Adam was taken to make Eve. Remember again in Genesis 15 when Abraham cut the animals in two “sides”. It’s the same idea. This is covenant language, and the reality of a sleeping Adam cut into two covenant pieces, is a covenant scene that has nothing to do with a rib.
3- My daughter has a first name and it’s not O-S-C-A-R.
We must stop confusing authority with chauvinism. Adam named Eve, not simply because Eve couldn’t come up with a good one. Adam named Eve, because he was under God’s authority to do so. God named Adam, Israel, John, and Jesus. Jesus and His disciples were always being questioned about whose “name” they were doing this or that in. The disciples and Jesus were doing miracles in the name of or by the authority of the father. God presents Himself, among other things, as father and husband throughout the bible. Name speaks of authority. Listen closely here… authority has more to do with the authorities than those under it. God is the only adequate example of true authority. True authority is protective, patient, loving, kind, forgiving, freeing, and thoughtful.
4- Don’t teach her to just do the opposite.
The answer to being thought of wrongly and oppressed is not to think of wrongly and oppress. The answer to getting a speeding ticket for going 60 in a 45 isn’t to go 30 in a 45. The answer for male chauvinism isn’t female chauvinism. The answer to understanding true womanhood, isn’t in just doing the opposite. So if men supposedly rule the world, the answer isn’t to simply turn it over to women. In so doing, we both miss the reality that God is ultimately in charge, and we’re designed to show His glory to the world in the way He created us.
5- Teach her how Jesus loved women.
That sounds sort of creepy, but it’s true. Eve is a shadow of the church, the true Adam’s true wife. The church is cast as the woman in the marital relationship. Esther and Deborah are types of Christ, just like all the guys. Rahab and Ruth are big time bloodline players. Gabrielle didn’t appear to a virgin Joseph, though he did appear to John, who was punished for unfaithful disbelief. Women were the first to see the resurrected Jesus. Some of Jesus closest friends were women. Women were extremely active in the young churches spread in the 1st century, and this young church suffered mightily at the hand of Rome because of its high view of women.
6- She’ll find joy in being who she was designed to be.
No, I don’t mean cleaning windows and ovens at her husband’s house. Let’s get this out-of-the-way. If you’re reading the same bible I do, the ladies we are encountering aren’t the Housewives of Jerusalem. Isaac’s wife Rebekah was a harder worker than most men today. Esther barged into the Kings court like a boss despite the potential of execution. Deborah was, as Judges 4:4 reminds us, a Prophetess and a wife, and before you think her role as Prophetess didn’t take ultimate precedence over her role as wife, would you say the same about Samson. Samson’s order of loyalty continues to be on display for us in scripture. He wasn’t loyalty to his Lord first. Subsequently he lost his hair, eyes, freedom, and ultimately his life because of it.
“Dad’s, raising your daughters to see Jesus as just another chauvinist or to find their identity in their femininity apart from Jesus both end up robbing her of joy.”